Rantings and tirades of a frustrated economist.
Bismark was the first to come up with the idea of old age pensions. At the time, the age of 65 was way beyond the average life expectancy. The idea of the pension was to help people in their retirement. An old age pension was never intended to be the only source of retirement income.This program is way off track!
Ok, Captain, you need to help me out. Referring to the CNBC slide show of the 20 most indebted countries, as expressed by total external debt (government, corporations & private citizens) as percentage of GDP:- With this measure, USA is pretty ok, comparatively speaking.- Some countries I thought of as very sound (e.g. Switzerland, Germany) are apparently in terrible shape.- So what is wrong with this methodology? Is there something wrong?- I would argue that whether corporations (or private citizens) finance their activities from sources inside or outside of the country, is immaterial. Who cares if I get a mortgage/loan from a home country bank or an external bank. (In fact, from a country perspective, it is perhaps better, i.e. if I go bankrupt only some foreigners are hurt, not my neighbors...)- It's a whole different situation when governments run up foreign debt. They then become dependent on other nations, financially and in the end also politically. Or?- Nevertheless, it does not seem "sound" for a country to run up overall debts of several time their GDP. How can they ever pay back? Perhaps they never have to? Are these external debts primarily like some giant ongoing credit lines, which will be perpetually refinanced? Take Switzerland, its external debt is almost three times their GDP. Is that a problem for them?Please give me your thoughts.Also, it would be extremely interesting to see a chart showing these 20 countries and their external debts, with the debt split between government, corporate, and private. You don't have one of those lying around, do you?Thanks, /Johan
Raising the retirement age is just a way to cut benefits and increase the tax (through more years working).It will save the system but it will not preserve the promise. Those of us who have been paying into the system for years have an expectation to retire at the statutory age that was in place when we started putting money into the system. Also, people my age and income are already losing money in Social Security - raising retirement age just further reduces the return on investment.The SYSTEM needs to be abolished. All the money currently in the trust fund needs to be disbursed into retirement funds and all future contributions go into our personal retirement accounts. This will provide ownership, control, and thwart redistribution.
It's now ok to talk about this sort of thing because the Obama administration is going to start chopping Social Security and the voters need to be softened up for the cutting. The MSM did not recently discover these simple facts, they have only now been authorized by a Higher Power to start discussing them.
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